Rep. Eshoo, Sen. Booker Introduce Bill to Boost Community Broadband Networks

New bill could pave the way for communities to take charge of their own broadband destinies. 

  • Broadband Trends


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Community Broadband Act to improve internet and broadband access across the country by removing roadblocks prohibiting local communities from building their own broadband networks.

“Today, tens of millions of Americans completely lack high-speed internet, and as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, internet is essential to access crucial services and keep people connected,” said Rep. Eshoo. “The Community Broadband Act will bridge the digital divide and help local governments enable connectivity, increase economic growth, and create jobs by building local broadband systems. I'm eager to see this legislation move forward to better connect our nation.”

“Internet access is a basic necessity, yet millions of Americans aren’t getting the broadband access they need,” said Senator Booker. “In order to empower local communities, we must expand access to high-speed, affordable internet so we can bridge the digital divide between communities across our country. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill that would allow for a more connected and equitable society and unlock new opportunities for innovation and economic growth for all.”

Twenty-one states have passed laws that either restrict or outright prohibit local communities from investing local dollars in building their own broadband networks. These laws shield incumbent internet service providers (ISPs) from competition and tie the hands of communities that want to improve broadband options or build-out to unserved areas that private providers refuse to connect to. A recent study from New America's Open Technology Institute found that community-owned ISPs offer higher speed and lower prices for users than incumbent ISPs. The Community Broadband Act nullifies state laws that inhibit local governments from building their own broadband, preserving the right to self-determination for local communities.

The Community Broadband Act is endorsed by the following organizations:

  • National Association of Counties
  • Engine
  • Consumer Reports
  • Utilities Technology Council
  • National League of Cities
  • Fiber Broadband Association
  • Common Cause
  • United States Conference of Mayors
  • American Public Power Association
  • Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition
  • National Digital Inclusion Alliance
  • Fiber Optic Sensing Association
  • National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors
  • Next Level Networks, Inc.
  • Accelerator for America
  • New America's Open Technology Institute
  • Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Access Now


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